Hieronymites

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Order of Saint Jerome
Escudo de la Orden de San Jeronimo.svg
AbbreviationOrder of the Hieronymites (O.S.H.)
FormationLate 14th century
Type Catholic enclosed religious order
HeadquartersOrden de San Jerónimo
Monasterio de Santa María del Parral
Subida al Parral, 2
40003 - Segovia, Spain
Website www.monjesjeronimos.es

The Order of Saint Jerome or Hieronymites (Latin : Ordo Sancti Hieronymi, abbreviated O.S.H.) is a Catholic cloistered religious order and a common name for several congregations of hermit monks living according to the Rule of Saint Augustine, though the inspiration and model of their lives is the 5th-century hermit and biblical scholar Saint Jerome.

Enclosed religious orders

Enclosed religious orders of the Christian churches have solemn vows with a strict separation from the affairs of the external world. The term cloistered is synonymous with enclosed. In the Catholic Church enclosure is regulated by the code of canon law, either the Latin code or the Oriental code, and also by subsidiary legislation. It is practised with a variety of customs according to the nature and charism of the community in question.

Hermit person who lives in seclusion from society

A hermit is a person who lives in seclusion from society, usually for religious reasons. Hermits are a part of several sections of Christianity, and the concept is found in other religions as well.

Monk religious occupation

A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism by monastic living, either alone or with any number of other monks. A monk may be a person who decides to dedicate his life to serving all other living beings, or to be an ascetic who voluntarily chooses to leave mainstream society and live his or her life in prayer and contemplation. The concept is ancient and can be seen in many religions and in philosophy.

Contents

The principal group with this name was founded in Spain in the 14th century. Their religious habit is a white tunic with a brown, hooded scapular and a brown mantle. For liturgical services, they wear a brown cowl.

Spain Kingdom in Southwest Europe

Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, is a country mostly located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula. Its territory also includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country (Morocco). Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are also part of Spanish territory. The country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.

Religious habit distinctive set of garments worn by members of a religious order

A religious habit is a distinctive set of religious clothing worn by members of a religious order. Traditionally some plain garb recognisable as a religious habit has also been worn by those leading the religious eremitic and anchoritic life, although in their case without conformity to a particular uniform style.

Tunic simple T-shaped or sleeveless garment, usually unfitted, of archaic origin

A tunic is a garment for the body, usually simple in style, reaching from the shoulders to a length somewhere between the hips and the knees. The name derives from the Latin tunica, the basic garment worn by both men and women in Ancient Rome, which in turn was based on earlier Greek garments that covered wearers' waists.

The Iberian Hieronymites

The Monastery of Saint Mary of Parral, the current headquarters of the Order of Saint Jerome. Segovia - Real Monasterio de Santa Maria del Parral 01.jpg
The Monastery of Saint Mary of Parral, the current headquarters of the Order of Saint Jerome.

Origins

Established near Toledo, Spain, the Order developed from a spontaneous interest of a number of eremetical communities in both Spain and Italy in imitating the life of Saint Jerome. This way of life soon became widespread in Spain. Two of these hermits, Pedro Fernández y Pecha and Fernando Yáñez y de Figueroa, decided it would be more advantageous to live a more regular way of life in a community, under an authorized monastic rule. [1]

Toledo, Spain City in Castile–La Mancha, Spain

Toledo is a city and municipality located in central Spain; it is the capital of the province of Toledo and the autonomous community of Castile–La Mancha. Toledo was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986 for its extensive monumental and cultural heritage.

Under their leadership, the Monastery of Saint Bartholomew was then founded in Lupiana, with Fernández y Pecha acting as the first prior. On 18 October 1373, Pope Gregory XI issued a papal bull recognizing them as a religious order, under the Rule of Saint Augustine. The Constitutions included the teachings of their patron saint. By 1415 there numbered 25 houses following this spirit; in that year, they were united by the pope and given the status of an exempt Order, free from episcopal jurisdiction. [2]

Lupiana Place in Castile-La Mancha, Spain

Lupiana is a municipality located in the province of Guadalajara, Castile-La Mancha, Spain. According to the 2004 census (INE), the municipality has a population of 227 inhabitants.

Prior Ecclesiastical title

Prior, derived from the Latin for "earlier, first", is an ecclesiastical title for a superior, usually lower in rank than an abbot or abbess. Its earlier generic usage referred to any monastic superior.

Pope Gregory XI Pope from 1370 to 1378

Pope Gregory XI was Pope from 30 December 1370 to his death in 1378. He was the seventh and last Avignon pope and the most recent French pope. In 1377, Gregory XI returned the Papal court to Rome, ending nearly 70 years of papal residency in Avignon, France. His death shortly after was followed by the Western Schism.

The Order, from its outset, enjoyed great favor from the king of Spain, and soon possessed some of the most famous monasteries in the Iberian Peninsula, including the Royal Monastery of Saint Mary of Guadalupe in Extremadura, Spain; the Royal Monastery of Saint Mary of Bethlehem in Lisbon, Portugal; and the magnificent monastery built by Philip II of Spain at El Escorial, in which the kings of Spain were buried. [3] [4]

Iberian Peninsula Peninsula located in southwest Europe

The Iberian Peninsula, also known as Iberia, is located in the southwest corner of Europe. The peninsula is principally divided between Spain and Portugal, comprising most of their territory. It also includes Andorra, small areas of France, and the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. With an area of approximately 596,740 square kilometres (230,400 sq mi)), it is both the second largest European peninsula by area, after the Scandinavian Peninsula, and by population, after the Balkan Peninsula.

Extremadura Autonomous community of Spain

Extremadura is an autonomous community of the western Iberian Peninsula whose capital city is Mérida, recognised by the Statute of Autonomy of Extremadura. It is made up of the two largest provinces of Spain: Cáceres and Badajoz. It is bordered by the provinces of Salamanca and Ávila to the north; by provinces of Toledo and Ciudad Real to the east, and by the provinces of Huelva, Seville, and Córdoba (Andalusia) to the south; and by Portugal to the west. Its official language is Spanish.

Jerónimos Monastery building in Santa Maria de Belém, Lisbon District, Portugal

The Jerónimos Monastery or Hieronymites Monastery, is a former monastery of the Order of Saint Jerome near the Tagus river in the parish of Belém, in the Lisbon Municipality, Portugal; it was secularised on 28 December 1833 by state decree and its ownership transferred to the charitable institution, Real Casa Pia de Lisboa.

Though their way of life was very austere, the Hieronymites also devoted themselves to study and to active ministry, possessing great influence at the courts both of Spain and of Portugal. In the 16th century, they were a major supporter of the efforts of the Portuguese mystic, St. John of God, who established the nursing order in Granada bearing his name. They went to both Spanish and Portuguese America and played a considerable part in bringing Christianity to the peoples of the New World.

Portugal Republic in Southwestern Europe

Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic, is a country located mostly on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost sovereign state of mainland Europe. It is bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain. Its territory also includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments.

John of God saint

John of God, O.H. was a Portuguese-born soldier turned health-care worker in Spain, whose followers later formed the Brothers Hospitallers of Saint John of God, a worldwide Catholic religious institute dedicated to the care of the poor, sick, and those suffering from mental disorders. He has been canonized by the Catholic Church, and is considered one of Spain's leading religious figures.

Christianity is a religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as described in the New Testament. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament.

The Hieronymite nuns, founded in 1375 by Maria Garcias, also became numerous throughout the Iberian peninsula. [3]

Religious habit

The religious habit of the monks of the Order of Saint Jerome is white and includes the brown scapular. Habit (Order of Saint Jerome).svg
The religious habit of the monks of the Order of Saint Jerome is white and includes the brown scapular.

The members of the Order (monks and nuns) adopted as their religious habit a white tunic with a brown scapular (similar to the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel used by the Carmelites) and a hood, over which is worn a brown mantle or cowl of the same color. [4]

American mission

The islands of the Antilles in the Caribbean were entrusted to them for pastoral care by Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros, who sent a small party of three monks to Hispaniola. They were originally sent to deal with the issue of accusations against the Spanish colonists of atrocities against the native population. These charges had been most vocally leveled by the noted priest Bartolomé de las Casas, who was a secular priest at the time. They appear to have been ineffectual in preventing the abuses which de la Casas had charged.

The leader of the monks, Luis de Figueroa, was later named the third bishop of Santo Domingo in 1523, which at the time also included the islands of Cuba and Puerto Rico. He died in 1526, before he could be consecrated as a bishop. [5] Another member of the Order, Juan de Arzolaras (or Alzóloras), served as the Archbishop of Santo Domingo (1566-1568), before being transferred to serve as the Bishop of the Canary Islands.

Modern era

Entrance of the nuns' monastery of Saint Paula (Seville, Spain). Convento de Santa Paula.jpg
Entrance of the nuns' monastery of Saint Paula (Seville, Spain).

The men's branch of the Order declined during the 18th century and was completely suppressed in 1835 by the Spanish government. [3] At that time, there were 48 monasteries with about a thousand monks. The fate of the monastery buildings was varied. Most of them fell into ruins, others were given to other religious orders, still others became breweries, barns, or holiday homes.

According to canon law, only the Holy See may suppress a religious order, and the Holy See possesses the right to restore that order should it see fit, for up to a century. [6] In 1925, the Hieronymite nuns (who were not affected by the suppression) petitioned the Holy See for a restoration of the men's branch. This was granted, with a new community of monks being established at the Monastery of Saint Mary of Parral in Segovia. However, the troubles of the Republic of 1931 and of the subsequent Spanish civil war of 1936-1939 prevented any real progress until the general government of the Order was constituted in 1969.

As of 2012 one community of monks exists, that of Saint Mary of Parral, and 18 monasteries of nuns (17 in Spain and one in India). The Hieronymite Order is a monastic one, now purely contemplative. Through solitude and silence, assiduous prayer, and healthy penance, the Order attempts to bring its monks into closer union with God. The Hieronymite is conscious that the more intensely he dedicates himself to the monastic life, the more fruitful becomes the life of the Church as a whole. Hieronymites believe that their prayer can have a profound impact on the world outside the monastery.

This is the environment in which the life of the Hieronymite monk is developed, with the morning usually spent in manual work—the normal means of support for monks—while afternoons are dedicated to contemplation, prayer and study. Throughout the course of the day, the monks also gather for the singing of the Liturgy of the Hours as well as the celebration of the Eucharist. The Hieronymite strives to allow these moments of prayer to flow through his way of life, so that his goal is to express his life in complete charity towards all people.

Hieronymites believe this inwardly-directed manner of life is an exquisite and effective form of apostolic outreach. They believe that in the middle of a restless world, there are those who are called by God to spend some time living in monastic solitude. For this reason, Hieronymite monasteries readily welcome visitors who are guaranteed silence and prayerful support. [7]

As of 2010, there were 11 monks in the Order, of whom four were priests. This is down from a high of 21 monks in 1990. [8]

The nuns of the Order

Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Hieronymite nun of colonial Mexico Sor Juana by Miguel Cabrera.png
Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Hieronymite nun of colonial Mexico

Alongside the Hieronymite monks, there are the Hieronymite nuns. They began in Toledo, Spain, when María García (+1426) and Mayor Gómez headed a group of women who began living lives of simplicity and prayer. Finally, they joined in a common life in order to consecrate their lives to God in prayer and penance. As a result of their community, in 1374, Fernández y Pecha, the prior of the original community of monks, founded the Monastery of Santa Maria de La Sisla near that city. He then looked after the women, guiding them and outlining for them a way of life similar to that of the monks.

This first foundation was the origin of the Monastery of Saint Paul of the "beatas de San Jerónimo", as they began to be called. Their continued observance of their rules and sanctity led to their spread in various places throughout the Iberian Peninsula and in New Spain. In 1585 in Mexico City, the convent of San Jerónimo y Santa Paula was founded. [9] Seventeenth-century Hieronymite Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz was that convent's most famous member, known in her own era as "the Tenth Muse."

Other and ancient communities

Presence of the Order of Saint Jerome

Cloister of the Monastery of Parral (Segovia, Spain). El Parral claustro 03.jpg
Cloister of the Monastery of Parral (Segovia, Spain).
Garden of the Monastery of Parral (Segovia, Spain). El Parral 01.jpg
Garden of the Monastery of Parral (Segovia, Spain).
Saint Jerome with Saint Paula and Saint Eustochium (painting of Francisco de Zurbaran at National Gallery of Art in Washington). Francisco de Zurbaran 043.jpg
Saint Jerome with Saint Paula and Saint Eustochium (painting of Francisco de Zurbarán at National Gallery of Art in Washington).

Current communities of the Order of Saint Jerome in the world

Male communities (cloistered monks)

Women communities (cloistered nuns)

See also

Notes

  1. "La Orden.La Orden de San Jerónimo" . Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  2. "La Orden.La Orden de San Jerónimo" . Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Butler 1911, p. 454.
  4. 1 2 Besse 1910.
  5. Cheney, David M. "Father Luis de Figueroa [Catholic-Hierarchy]" . Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  6. "Code of Canon Law: text - IntraText CT" . Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  7. "La Orden.La Orden de San Jerónimo" . Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  8. Cheney, David M. "Orden de San Jerónimo (Institute of Consecrated Life) [Catholic-Hierarchy]" . Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  9. Asunción Lavrin, Brides of Christ: Conventual Life in Colonial Mexico. Stanford: Stanford University Press 2008, 259.

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References

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